1 - Jordan Phillips displays infectious energy in Bills debut
Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips made his Bills debut in Week 5, and he was incredibly excited to do so.
Phillips, whom the Bills claimed off of waivers last Wednesday, was enthusiastic throughout much of Sunday’s contest. The 25-year-old interacted with the crowd on a number of occasions; often jumping up and down before and after plays in an effort to raise their noise level. After the game, Phillips ran to the crowd and celebrated with the fans.
While hyping up the crowd is something that Philips likes to do every game, he admitted that the Buffalo crowd was unlike anything he’s ever seen before.
“That’s something I always try to do, I try to get the crowd involved,” Phillips said. “Home games, you don’t get crowds like that. You’ve got to get them involved. It helps us on the pass rush, helps the defense get going. They can’t make as many calls, can’t hard count us. So [when] the crowd’s in it, it’s great for the defense.”
Phillips played well in Buffalo’s win over the Titans, totaling three tackles and one pass deflection. Though Phillips didn’t dominate the stat sheet, his infectious energy had an impact on Buffalo’s defense, an impact that can’t be found in the box score.
“Just his energy, man, it influenced a lot of people,” Edmunds said of Phillips. “It made a lot of people around him get hyped too, so his energy, everyone fed off of it.”
2 - Taron Johnson reflects on first career interception
Throughout the past few weeks, rookie cornerback Taron Johnson has made impact play after impact play.
In Buffalo’s Week 4 contest with the Green Bay Packers, the slot corner recorded a strip sack on Aaron Rodgers, the first sack and forced fumble of his career.
Johnson shined yet again in the Bills’ Week 5 win over the Titans, totaling four tackles and one pass deflection. He also recorded his first career interception, picking off a Marcus Mariota slant pass that was intended for Jonnu Smith.
Johnson hopes that this interception will be the first of many.
“Great feeling, great feeling,” Johnson said. “Hopefully many more to come. I’m just excited for the rest of the year.”
Johnson read Mariota’s eyes on the play, allowing him to be in position when he was targeted.
“Quarterback vision,” Johnson said. “Quarterback vision, he basically took me to the ball. He tried to throw inside of me, and I just jumped it. . . He was starting it down.”
3 - Sean McDermott praises Dean Marlowe’s ‘preparation’
Football is often described as a “next man up” game. When a player goes down with an injury, he has to be replaced.
While Micah Hyde is not an easy player to replace, safety Dean Marlowe was effective in his absence.
Hyde suffered a groin injury in Buffalo’s Week 4 contest with the Green Bay Packers. With Jordan Poyer and Siran Neal as the only healthy safeties on their roster, the Bills promoted Marlowe from their practice squad.
Although he’s only been with the team for parts of two seasons, Marlowe is familiar with Buffalo’s defensive system, as he’s worked with head coach Sean McDermott for four years. Marlowe spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where McDermott was the defensive coordinator from 2011-2016.
Marlowe got the start at strong safety on Sunday, the first of his NFL career. He played well, recording four tackles and deflecting one pass.
Marlowe’s familiarity with the defensive scheme gave McDermott confidence that he would thrive as a starter.
“He’s been around the system,” McDermott said. “I thought he did a good job in his preparation this week. He’s a guy that really embraces his role, whether it’s practice squad like it was in the weeks leading up to today, or starter like it was today. Good, tough football player. There are a lot of things we can do better and that’s what we have to focus on this week going forward.”
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